PIERS MORGAN: ON DONALD TRUMP
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
Where were you when Donald Trump won the US presidency? I was on a freezing cold, pitch-black hotel rooftop in mid-town Manhattan at 2.30am, co-hosting Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid.
Madonna, so desperate for Hillary Clinton to win that she even offered free oral sex to anyone who voted for her, has revealed she was at her New York home just a mile away from us – but in a much darker place.
‘I was praying with my agent,’ she told Harper’s Bazaar. ‘She was reading from the Koran, I was reading from the Zohar [chief text of Kabbalah]. We were lighting candles, meditating, praying, offering our lives to God forever…’ There have been many theories about why Trump won, but that last momentous pledge from Madonna may have been the crucial tipping point. As Trump’s vicepresident Mike Pence said on the night: ‘I am deeply grateful to God.’
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Famous people are often the worst kind of dinner-party companions. They either talk solely about themselves, bitch incessantly about their rivals (while saying in public how much they ‘hugely admire their work’) or are just so stupid you lose the will to live. (I still recoil at the memory of one excruciating evening spent trying to converse with a very well-known, sadly very brain-dead model.)
Tonight, by contrast, I found myself next to Heston Blumenthal for a mutual friend’s birthday dinner at Café Monico in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. Heston is not only one of the world’s greatest chefs – his acclaimed Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire has three Michelin stars – he’s also an extraordinarily bright whirlwind of creative energy who likes to seriously mess with your brain.
As the starters arrived, Heston asked a waitress for a notepad and pen and frenziedly drew me page after page of Einstein-esque diagrams to explain the incredibly complex way human senses work. Over the main course, he performed an experiment that involved him staring with varying intensity into my eyes as I drank wine or ate food, to test my reactions. It all genuinely tasted different each time, a bizarre but thrilling experience.
Finally, as I scoffed dessert, he asked me to name favourite childhood memories – I cited shrimping on Hastings beach – and he correctly guessed extra details about them and made me ‘taste’ my thought processes.
‘I want people to feel happiness from food through nostalgic triggers,’ he explained. It all sounds insane but somehow it works. ‘You’re a mad, bonkers genius,’ I told him, as Heston beamed delightedly. Michael McIntyre came over to offer much-needed, light, cerebral relief. ‘You are NOT to put any of this conversation into your diary, Morgan!’ he commanded, chortling loudly. ‘You haven’t said anything yet!’ I said. McIntyre crouched down beside my chair and we had a great chat. Unlike most comedians, he’s a very funny, upbeat guy off stage, too.
After 20 minutes, he sprang up with a loud shriek and launched into a lengthy verbal and physical impromptu sketch about how awkward and painful it is to talk to someone from that crouching position. It was laugh-out-loud hilarious. In direct contrast to Heston, McIntyre’s genius is the simplicity of his work. He finds ordinary things almost unbearably amusing.
As I left, I found our former chancellor, George Osborne, getting his coat. ‘George! How great to see you!’ I exclaimed. ‘I want to thank you so much.’
‘Oh,’ he replied, instantly suspicious, ‘why?’
‘Well thanks to your disastrous failure of a Remain campaign, the dollar has rocketed against the pound, meaning my US assets are now worth 30% more than eight months ago.’
‘I knew there had to be one silver lining,’ Osborne groaned.
‘You excited or horrified about President Trump?’ I asked.
‘I’m rather intrigued, actually,’ he replied. ‘He’s blowing up every conventional notion about how to be a politician.’ ‘Is that a good or bad thing?’ ‘We’re about to find out…!’
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
Watched La La Land, the stupendously hyped romantic musical about a musician (Ryan Gosling) and actress (Emma Stone) who fall in love in Los Angeles, to see what all the fuss is about.
The film is dripping with cheesy schmaltz, and the ‘dream’ scenes are irritatingly absurd, but the music’s great and Ms Stone is fabulous.
It’s a good, not great movie but it will clean up at the Oscars because it’s basically two hours of Hollywood making mad, passionate love to itself.
MONDAY, JANUARY 16
Blue Monday. What could possibly make things worse than the most miserable day of the year? Well, according to a survey published today, the answer is waking up to me in bed. A dismaying 98% of the British public apparently named me the ‘least appealing bedmate’ to cheer them up on this hellish morning, narrowly beating Benedict Cumberbatch into second place.
‘Who on earth are the 2%?’ pondered Susanna Reid this morning.
No idea. But if anyone knows, can you get me their phone numbers?
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
A hand-written note from Donald Trump arrived today, responding to a DailyMail.com column I wrote urging him not to stop tweeting. ‘Trump’s tweets helped him win the presidency,’ ran the headline, ‘and if you don’t like them, tough Twitty!’
‘Piers, so true!’ he wrote, across a print-out of the column. ‘Thanks, Donald. PS You always knew it was going to happen…’ Yes, I did. As I said on the day he announced he was running, never underestimate The Donald.